How to use the Online Genealogical Index (OGI)

OGI is a search engine for genealogical data sets found online for England and Wales, indexed by place. If you know the place where your ancestor was born, married, died, or buried, OGI helps find sites that contain records for that place - records that may contain details of your ancestor.

Make a search

Go to and...

  1. Select the Country from the dropdown list(required)
  2. Select the County from the drop-down list (optional)
  3. Type the Town name (required)
  4. Add an approximate year of the event. OGI will search for records 40 years before and after the entered year. (optional)
  5. Click Search

OGI searches need an event place. If you don't have one, try locating your ancestor on a census. Census records typically contain event places such as

  • place of birth
  • place of baptism/christening
  • place of a marriage

Also look in the census for the town in which the bride was born, or in the place where the first child was born. Try looking in known places to find additional children born to the family who may not be recorded on a census if they died between census years (1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 in the UK).

Ancestry, FamilySearch and Findmypast all have the UK census available.

Search fields

Search Results

The Results screen has some important features which will help you find what you need. Here is an example for Longham in Norfolk.

Search fields

Click on the Show dropdown to see more than 10 results on the screen. You can have 10, 25, 50 or 100 in the list.

Search fields

Click on the Page number or use Previous and Next at the bottom-right of the screen to go from page to page.

Search fields

Use the Search field to search through the current results for a website, keyword (“burials” or “marriages”), church or collection name. This is a very fast way of filtering the results for what you need.

Search fields

If searching for records from a specific year, click on the From column to sort the list (click it again to change from ascending to descending).

Search fields

Column headings can be used to sort the list by that item. For example, if you are just looking for marriage records, click on the M column and see the marriages at the top of the list (click again if not shown).

Search fields

Under the Cost column, the term Paid/FHC refers to collections which require a paid subscription such as Ancestry and Findmypast but are free at any LDS Family History Centre. LDS members can also get free access to most of the collections found at Ancestry, findmypast and MyHeritage by creating their free account here:

Note: Some collections are not free with the LDS account (such as Ancestry’s Manchester collection) but are still available at a Family History Center or public library with an institution account. There are often duplicate data sets found on other sites which would be referenced in the OGI results.

Click on a blue link to go to the data. A new tab will open in your browser with the resource shown. You can always go back to the list of results by returning to your results tab. The example shown is Google Chrome. By clicking on the OGI tab, you will see the results screen again.


If you find a problem with a link such as the page is no longer working or the description does not match the link offered, please use the blue triangle button to the right of each line to report the problem.

Report a problem

Complete the form to explain what you were trying to access and what is not working. A message is sent to the OGI Data Administrator who will research the problem and send you a working link if available. The index will also be repaired.

To start a new search, click on either the New Search link on the top-right of the results page or click on the main blue heading, "Online Genealogical Index".

Report a problem

A brief explanation of some of the major resources and how to use their sites

By clicking on the blue links, you are often faced with either a search screen or an index of another website. The OGI has shown that the place, data type and year range needed is available on that site. You will need to search for either that data set name or that place on the new site.


This is an International Genealogical Index batch index. These are all FamilySearch data sets but this index helps you locate the information you need very quickly.

Archer Soft

Use the Jump To index at the top or scroll down to find the batch you need in the right place and data type. Just click on the Batch number and enter the surname (not required) to search through the FamilySearch IGI batch.


FreeReg is a large collection of Parish Register transcriptions. These are often not included in the International Genealogical Index on FamilySearch and fill in gaps in the data.

From their search page you will need to find the County and then have the option of adding a name, record type and year. You can also select a specific place in that county. The option to search for other family members (same parents) or other nearby places is very useful if unsure of where a child was christened, for example. Use the Soundex option to include other spellings of a surname (Smith, Smyth, Smythe, etc)

Archer Soft

Many sites may only show you either a quarter or a year of where someone was christened, married or buried but often you will get an actual parish name which allows you to narrow down your search. Examples of these would be the Isle of Wight FHS site or the many UKBMD county pages such as

You end up with the exact place of the event which can then allow you to revisit the results in OGI and search for a specific town and church.

Endorsed by the Federation of Family History Societies